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Old 05-25-2017   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Citing one line by Outlaw09:

From my media watching that is simply wrong. The bomb went off in a public area, the venue's foyer is adjacent to and open to a train station concourse. He did not access the concert venue itself. The bomb detonated as the early concert leavers entered the public area, but the singer gave one more final son so most people stayed inside.

That is why the British Transport Police, who cover the railway network, had initial primacy as it was in their jurisdiction. The BTP always have a uniform presence at such a station.

On the move more maybe later.
I am no SME by any means, but I am making an initial assumption that large events now possess at least minimal/reasonable levels of superficial security, and that attackers such as these may simply adapt slightly and look for offset non-secure choke points where people briefly mass.

When I think of the leaked technology/techniques used by UK Forces checkpoints in Northern Ireland in the 1970's/80's for intelligence analysis of IRA activity, I'm hopeful the heavy concentration of CCTV in U.K. mixed with Moore's Law will provide additional tools for LE leading up to an attack.

I would imagine CCTV footage of every single known suicide bomber and support team getting crunched for big data analysis for human behaviour pattern recognition might provide some potential early warning, like a pre-crime version of gunshot locators. Same goes for International Entry Customs CCTV.

I'm guessing an AI data scientist/human behaviour psychologist could fill in their own paycheque right about now.
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Old 05-27-2017   #202
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What is interesting about this particular attack...the UK slams down an info wall and yet on the Berlin truck attack killing just ten less and having the same number of injured the German authorities were open and forthcoming with all information...or in the Paris attacks all information was flowing as fast as the authorities would actually allow it.

What I think is happening is that it is now forcing the current government to start acknowledging a few facts that are now coming out via social media.....

1. French and German intel had passed on solid information concerning the bomber up to four days before the attacks
2. bomber was on a fly watch list and Turkey correctly and speedily informed UK about his flights out of Trukey before the bombing
3. bomber flies a IS flag in the back of his house
4. bombers family repeatedly warned the police
5. all indications of virtually no security in place when he simply walked into the building when the performance was over....

Just as in the German truck attack red flags were flying literally everywhere but no one connected the dots......

One of the lessons learned in the Cannes, Paris and Berlin attacks...you leave all security in major events firmly in place until the last person is out of the event..that did not happen in Manchester....and every bag and bulky clothing is searched....a bomb vest is not a easy thing to look slim in....

I highly suspect that the leaks are coming from UK sources fed up with the tightness and lack of info going to the public ..........

One thing French, German and Brussels authorities have learned..open up all channels of communications to the public and ask for as much help as they can provide...videos...photos...tweets..observations etc....

The failures around the German truck attacker are even played out in public and thus the public has no feeling that the government is not trying to coverup mistakes and is in fact learning from their own mistakes....something the UK is not doing right now....

Example..German investigators had learned about the trucker attacker being involved in drug sales as a finance mechanism....they raided six locations inside Berlin yesterday rolling up 10 major drug dealers and 6 of them were high value jihadist targets....

Ever since that Dec attack German authorities have been raiding and raiding and raiding and arresting along the way....after the London car attack yes you saw some activity but not to the levels seen in Brussels, Paris and Berlin....

What is not leaked and has not been leaked is how did the UK know within virtually the first hour or so of chaos exactly who the bomber was??

BTW...one leaked article about the making of the bomb ...highly professional was the undertone..is now being countered that the bomber made it himself and BTW no professional bomb maker kills himself......

So in fact some leaks were not all that accurate.....
Very interesting article on German counter-terrorism system and jihadists....

Excellent, detailed work by @janraudszus ~> The Jihadist terrorist threat and German Counter-terrorism http://www.capesic.cat/en/2017/05/25...er-terrorism/#

Germany has long maintained that to fight any terrorist problem it is strictly an intel service and police fight.....and long term.....AND I seriously doubt there is any western nation state that has been hit with terror attacks that openly debates the failures by police and security services as does Germany...

In some ways this quite public debate allows the public to understand that the police and security services are admitting if they failed and are learning from their mistakes and allows for the public to feel that their security concerns are being taken seriously....

Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-27-2017 at 01:13 PM. Reason: Copied to the German catch all thread.
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Old 05-31-2017   #203
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Default Assembling the jigsaw

Nine days after the attack there has been a shift in the official police stance, as indicated in a BBC report which starts with:
Quote:
Manchester suicide attacker Salman Abedi bought most of the components used to make the bomb himself, police have said.Many of the bomber's movements and actions were "carried out alone" in the four days prior to the attack, Russ Jackson, head of the North West counter terrorism unit, said.
But police have yet to rule out whether he was part of a wider network.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40103563

There remain eleven men in custody, five have been released and the law allows them to be kept in pre-charge custody for up to fourteen days (with reviews at a magistrates court).

Elsewhere some have speculated the IED was not a sophisticated device.
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Old 05-31-2017   #204
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Default UK CT: it's bilateral, not international help that matters for the police

The author of this article is the former head of UK police CT; his actual title is 'The Importance of Bilateral Collaboration in International Counter-Terrorism Investigations' and is carefully worded.
Link:https://policyexchange.org.uk/the-im...nvestigations/

Two passages:
Quote:
Judging by the speed of the response in Libya to the Manchester attack last week, the UK has demonstrated that it still has the capability, capacity and global reach to be effective in international counter terrorist investigations.
The UK’s international CT network has played a key role in this and will continue to be a vital part of its ongoing defenses against terrorism. Cooperation with European states is very much part of that – but that will not be affected by Brexit.
Contrary to some authors elsewhere the UK's CT police network and more is not part of the "Five Eyes" arrangement, from what is known in the public domain.
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Old 06-07-2017   #205
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Default London Bridge attack

Rather unusually I have not added reports and commentaries on the terrorist attack @ London Bridge, on Saturday evening; in part as I was off the web. Secondly CT policy and practice has become a very public issue in the General Election, with the opposition rightly in my opinion being critical of Prime Minister May for her role as Home Secretary (2010-2016) and as Prime Minister.

Then the "fog of war" has cleared remarkably quickly, not this time aided by "leaks" to the US media, with allegations and partial admissions that "something" was wrong on how one murderer was investigated - if not the other two. Sadly another body has just been found in the River Thames, of a missing French national and others remain missing (a Spaniard & an Australian).

One report on the public's role (albeit three days ago):https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...idge-attackers .

Another which refers to Manchester, eight days old:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/28/mi5-launches-inquiries-into-failings-on-manchester-arena-bomber-salman-abedi-moss-side-raids-amber-rudd?
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Old 06-08-2017   #206
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Default Eight minutes and they're dead

Footage - 37 seconds - has today emerged of how the London Bridge attackers were shot dead:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...and-terrorists

There are some remarks alongside, such as:
Quote:
No more than 20 seconds elapse from the officers leaving their ARV to the attackers lying still on the floor.
A couple of days ago now a backgrounder on the UK police's armed response policy and practice:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...-eight-minutes

The BBC News has a "one stop" collection of reports:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40150689 There is an excellent commentary on the radicalisation factor from ICSR:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40161333
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Old 06-13-2017   #207
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Default Back to Manchester

A local newspaper report, based on a Greater Manchester Police press release, clears some of the "smoke" and initial reporting that the attack was a sophisticated operation by many people. For example:
Quote:
The 22 people arrested in relation to suspected terrorism offences have been released without charge - two of them shortly after arrest.
The remaining 20 were interviewed ‘many times’.....“Some of those arrested and now released have offered accounts which explain innocent contact with Abedi and we are, at this time, satisfied with these explanations. However, this has taken a considerable amount of time to work through to ensure we are satisfied and that the risk to the public has been considered."
Link:http://www.manchestereveningnews.co....ttack-13170282

Or a podcast by NW CTU's head (regional CT unit):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yH4Buc45KU

A rather odd story IMHO from Tripoli, Libya by the BBC:
Quote:
The bomb attack in Manchester last month which killed 22 people was being planned since December, security officials in Libya have told the BBC.Salman Abedi was being watched in Libya more than a month before the attack.Officials in Tripoli have complained about poor security co-operation with the UK, which they say must be improved to prevent further attacks.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...ester-40254594


This does rather sound like "spin" after the event.
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Old 06-15-2017   #208
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Default The next terror attack in a jail is waiting to happen

The UK has a variety of problems with its prison system, amongst them is how it copes with increasing numbers of prisoners who are Muslim or have been converted and the threat from radicalization - which ends in Islamism.

Ian Acheson was asked to conduct a review in 2015; the linked article summarizes his experience and he is very critical:https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/...n-our-prisons/

The actual report is not in the public domain, but there is this official summary:https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-youth-justice

There are a growing number of convicted Islamist terrorists in UK prisons (mainly in England), not all of them are held in 'high security' prisons.

Just how this issue has been effectively ignored, so becoming a real threat inside prison, let alone when prisoners "return to the community" undermines the UK's strategy.
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Old 06-19-2017   #209
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Default

Two weeks ago, on the 5th June 2017, Professor Bruce Hoffman wrote this two page article 'Can Britain Stop Terrorists While Defending Civil Liberties?' and it is worth a read.
Link:http://nationalinterest.org/feature/...berties-21012?

His views are undoubtedly influenced by the Westminster Bridge attack (March 22nd: using a van & knives), the Manchester Arena bombing (May 22nd) and the London Bridge attack (using a van & knives).

Now we have seen the Finsbury Park attack (North London) by a white man in a van who sought to kill Muslims and killed one.

A couple of key points:
Quote:
ISIS has thus proven remarkably adept at harnessing the full potential of contemporary communications to motivate, inspire and ultimately animate its minions to action.

(As) a Wall Street Journal editorial warned today, “Do more to contain this internal Islamist insurgency now, or risk a political backlash that will result in even more draconian limits on civil liberties.”
Until recently the official figure for aspiring, suspected who posed a threat was three thousand (a remarkably stable figure for years) and now there twenty thousand others who are of "interest".

For those who wish to delve deeper into how many expressed support for terrorism in opinion polling, in 2015, there are two opinion polls. One for a C4 documentary:http://www.channel4.com/info/press/n...s-really-think

The second, with a bigger sample, was by Policy Exchange. Note it found more non-Muslims supported violence than Muslims:https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-con...ties_FINAL.pdf

It is too early to comment on the Finsbury Park attacker, whose identity remains private and a criminal trial restrains the UK media. Was the van driver a "loner".

It is puzzling to me that the "call to arms" from ISIS resonates far more effectively than the repeated calls to action by AQ. A Londoner friend familiar with the North London scene a few years ago argues that the big change is that low-level criminals are drifting into terrorism.



As ISIS appears to be defeated in terms of territory and governance, with very few going to few going there now; are those left behind the frustrated "wannabe" fighters?

What has recently happened has exposed far more than scale and resources. What do we as a nation, let alone the CT agencies and police, do with those who may pose a threat, but there is either no evidence or a lack of intelligence that would justify targeting and investigation?


The standard Home Office approach of tackling encryption etc has no relevance IMHO to what we face today from the angry becoming a threat rapidly.


Resilience is familiar to US LE, but I do ask is policing in London and several other English cities going to become 'security' dominated, whether from guarding or active investigations?
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Old 06-20-2017   #210
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Default One of two worth reading: Rise of Low-End Urban Terrorism

One article (not two as per title) worthy of a pointer. 'Rise of Low-End Urban Terrorism' is from Singapore and is a clear explanation of what is the emerging threat - not just in the UK, so it may be copied to another thread on ISIS.

Two passages:
Quote:
By resorting to low-end terrorist tactics, IS has raised the cost of counterterrorism in Western cities and further lowered the security threshold. These attacks are random and unpredictable because of their low entry barrier. No expertise in bomb-making or formal militant training is needed. Preventing such attacks is almost impossible because the terrorists engaging in low-tech terrorism can attack anything anywhere and at any time. By doing this, IS has virtually bypassed the operational phases of the terrorist attack cycle i.e. recruitment, training, planning, target selection, logistics, and execution.

This leaves IS with only one challenge: how to radicalize disenfranchised and vulnerable Muslim youth to do its terrorist bidding. Most of this is done online now thanks to IS’ revolutionization of social media for recruitment and propaganda operations. The group’s ability to link individual grievances with its jihadist narrative by providing aspiring jihadists with a stronger sense of belonging and empowerment has helped it overcome social, geographical, and linguistic barriers to recruit from diverse backgrounds.
Link:http://ippreview.com/index.php/Blog/single/id/481.html
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Old 06-20-2017   #211
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Default Perspective on Terrorism in the UK

In the wake of the recent deadly anti-Muslim attacks in Portland and London, a number of media commentators have opined that “right-wing” terrorism is being ignored, and that it is equivalent to Islamist terrorism.

Neither assertion is true. Law enforcement in both the United States and Britain have prevented various “right-wing” plots from being carried out, and in fact “right-wing” terrorism was the priority for Anglo-American security services throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Yet what is “right-wing” terrorism? According to the statistics produced by the New America Foundation, “right-wing terrorism” is a catch-all or polite euphemism for political violence carried out by white perpetrators, including:
  • Fanatical Christians targeting abortion providers
  • Militant libertarians (e.g. “sovereigntists” or “freemen”) targeting local or national authorities
  • White supremacists targeting non-whites
  • Anti-Muslim whites targeting Muslims

In contrast to the disparate ideologies and organizations above, Islamist terrorism is very specific, and I believe that apples are being compared to oranges here in order to make the statistical disparities less obvious.

In the United Kingdom, just under 4.50% of the population is comprised of Muslims. However, from 2000 to present:
  • 92 people have been killed by Islamist terrorists
  • 4 people have been killed by right-wing terrorists including 2 in anti-Muslim attacks and 1 as part of the Troubles (by the UVF)

The same pattern is found in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United States:
  • 621 people have been killed by Islamist terrorists (excluding 9/11)
  • 50 people have been killed by right-wing terrorists including 25 in anti-Muslim attacks

Only in Canada (Mosque shooting) and Norway (Breivik) does right-wing fatal terrorism exceed that of Islamists.

In terms of putting the Islamist terrorist threat in perspective, 0.08% of the Catholic and Protestant populations of Northern Ireland were members of their respective paramilitaries at any given time.

If 3,000 Muslims in Britain are being monitored by MI5 as jihadis (estimates range from 2,000 to 23,000), then that would make the participation rate 0.10%, or worse than the Troubles on both an absolute and relative basis, given that the Muslim population is almost double that of Northern Ireland.
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Old 06-21-2017   #212
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Default Oh so subtle, idiots

Today the UK government has announced a review of CT strategy and part of its messaging has been a Tweet, this says:
Quote:
Counter-terrorism strategy will be reviewed and a new commission will work to stamp out extremist ideology in all its forms
Accompanied by this image:

There has been criticism:https://www.theguardian.com/politics...sm-commission?

Armed policing has a very small part in the UK CT response; what happened to 'British values' and countering the arrative of our enemies - who want to portray our response like this?
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Old 06-30-2017   #213
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Default Back to the past?

After recent attacks several voices have suggested the use of internment (detention with trial); in part citing the volume of suspects (3-23k), the lack of resources and evidence for criminal proceedings.

This article 'Scrapping human rights is as great a threat to democracy as terrorism' reviews the history - mainly its use in Northern Ireland (1971-1975, it had been used in an earlier campaign by the Irish Republic) - and wider political implications.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/jul...ism-democracy?

I am a pessimist that politicians will use internment, probably under a supposedly more subtle title, if there is a series of successful attacks with high casualties - to be "seen to do something" and avoid a public backlash.
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Old 07-10-2017   #214
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Default End-to-end encryption back door 'a bad idea'

The UK government has placed stress on the dangers posed by enemies and suspects having secure communications, even after extending the legal powers to conduct surveillance.

So when a former GCHQ Director disagrees publicly one should sit up. There is a short BBC radio interview, AM today and is summarised as:
Quote:
The former head of GCHQ has said that cooperation between government agencies and private companies is the best solution "to target the people who are abusing encryption systems."
Robert Hannigan warned that "building back doors" in encryption systems was "a threat to everybody" and suggested that the government and private companies work more closely together to tackle the problem.
Link to podcast (hopefully it can be viewed outside the UK):http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0588hvv

A specialist IT online journal has a longer article; other issues were covered.

Link:https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/0...ption_debate/?
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Old 07-19-2017   #215
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Default Al-Muhajiroun and the simmering divisions in British society

An excellent overview of this small activist group, that has always maintained it was not violent, just that so many passed through who did turn to violence, by Raffaello Pantucci - on his publishers website:http://www.hurstpublishers.com/al-mu...itish-society/

One passage:
Quote:
But the reality is that they (UK CT) are addressing the same threat that has been managed for the past two decades. Incremental improvements are made in our response, some bad policies are binned, and some are steered off a path to violence, but it is not clear that we are materially eradicating the ideas and groups that are ultimately behind the violence on our streets.
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Old 07-27-2017   #216
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Default Deaths from Terrorism 1970-2017

There is an article, with graphs on a newspaper website:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/ma...st-attacks-uk/

Via Twitter:

Not sure why state action is labelled 'terrorism'. The author has clarified that 259 deaths due to 'state terrorism' were those killed in the Pan-Am Flight 103, that hit Lockerbie, Scotland December 21st 1988.
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Old 08-02-2017   #217
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Default Birmingham terror plot: perhaps the most bizarre terror trial I've ever witnessed

After a four month long trial as this BBC report goes into details rarely seen in public and part of the trail was held in secret. Note two defendants were convicted AQ supporters had moved to support Daesh / ISIS. They await sentencing.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40716747

Added later, a second detailed report:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...rrorist-attack

The author tweeted:
Quote:
Inside the secret op that caught the "three musketeers": perhaps the most bizarre terror trial I've ever witnessed.
The report starts with:
Quote:
Four men have been convicted of planning a major terror attack in Birmingham after being caught in an elaborate undercover operation. The trial of Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain, Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz at the Old Bailey has been one of the strangest - and most vigorously contested - terrorism cases of the past decade.
A significant feature became public, a police & MI5 "honey trap":
Quote:
Hero Couriers had been in operation for up to four years. It had all the trappings of a real courier firm - vans, a corporate logo and a supposed headquarters in Hilton Hall, a stately home converted to offices, near Wolverhampton.But it was all bogus. The firm had no customers - it did no real deliveries. It existed only in order to watch suspects.
One undercover police officer spent two weeks in the witness box facing numerous allegations by the defence, as indicated in a report months ago:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...fying-evidence

Added. Sentenced:
Quote:
Ali, Hussain and Rahman - who called themselves the Three Musketeers in group messages - were each sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison. All three refused to attend court. They have all previously served prison sentences for terrorism offences.Aziz, who joined the group days before the arrests. was sentenced to a minimum term of 15 years in prison.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40810970

Was stand alone until merged into the main UK CT thread.
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Old 08-05-2017   #218
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Default How ISIS has changed the terrorist threat in the UK: an interview with David Wells

David Wells is a UK-based risk analyst and his background is in Anglo-Australian intelligence analysis. The link is to the transcript of an interview:http://www.bicom.org.uk/blogpost/day...w-david-wells/

He ends with a comment wider than the UK:
Quote:
There have been different waves of threats over the decades that have different defining factors and the international community needs to keep up with the current wave and its next shift. There’s a danger that some governments are still dealing with the wave of 10-15 years ago, where people in the West fitted the model of ‘radicalisation due to the lack of opportunity and education’. Unfortunately, this model (which I’m simplifying here) isn’t necessarily widely applicable today.
The interview is part of a series 'The day after ISIS', by a previously unheard of group Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre or BICOM and their explanation:
Quote:
In this conversation on the future of the Middle East after the Islamic State (IS), we bring together experts to debate the prospects for reconstruction and governance in IS-held territory, the future of the Jihadi movement, how to mitigate against the return of IS fighters, and the future regional security framework. We ask the experts what policymakers need to start thinking and planning after the territorial defeat of the most dangerous terrorist group to date.
Link to the interview series, back to May 2017:http://www.bicom.org.uk/analysis/day...islamic-state/
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Old 08-15-2017   #219
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Default We are facing 20-30yrs of threat

Last week Jonathan Evans, ex-Mi5 Director General (ret'd in 2013) was interviewed on BBC Radio:
Quote:
Over that period the threat has come and gone but the underlying threat has continued. Since 2013 there have been 19 attempted attacks that have been disrupted and even since the attack at Westminster we are told there have been six disruptions, so this is a permanent state of preparedness.We're at least 20 years into this. My guess is that we will still be dealing with the long tail in over 20 years' time. I think this is genuinely a generational problem. I think we are going to be facing 20 to 30 years of terrorist threat and therefore we need, absolutely critically, to persevere.
Link to article:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40890328 and link to the interview itself:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-poli...at-for-decades

In the radio programme the UK's current senior CT police officer did a Q&A interview:http://news.met.police.uk/blog_posts...errorism-60655
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Old 10-17-2017   #220
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Default UK facing most severe terror threat ever, warns MI5 chief

In his first selected media appearance MI5's Director said there was currently "more terrorist activity coming at us, more quickly" and that it can also be "harder to detect". He added that more than 130 Britons who travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with so-called Islamic State had died.

A couple of quotes:
Quote:
They are constantly making tough professional judgements based on fragments of intelligence; pinpricks of light against a dark and shifting canvas.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41655488 and https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...-mi5-islamist?
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